Salford City Council is considering using new throw line equipment to beat vandals putting lives at risk at Salford Quays.
Council patrols regularly fish out and replace life rings which vandals throw into the water – despite warnings that the practice is putting lives at risk.
Now the council says enough is enough and is recommending spending £33,000 on a new system promoted by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. The decision will be taken by the council’s procurement board next week (July 24.)
Under the new system, rescuers will need to call 999 to get a code to unlock a vandal-proof box to reach the throw line inside. Each unit has a unique code which means the emergency services can pinpoint the exact location of the emergency to attend and assist. There will also be a board with instructions on its use.
Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety, said the decision to replace traditional life rings was not an easy one to make.
“I fully appreciate it takes seconds to make the call to get the equipment and that has been taken into consideration,” he said.
“But if the life ring is missing in the first place, because it has been vandalised, then there is no help available for the person in the water. Using the secure cabinets to protect the throw lines means they have a chance.
“It’s a very sad day when we have to consider such measures because of idiots who either don’t understand the dangers of messing around with life rings or just don’t care but we can’t carry on like this.”
The move is part of a series of measures to crack down on anti-social behaviour at the Quays this summer. Extra CCTV cameras monitoring the Quays have already been added to Salford City Council’s control room, which operates 24/7 and is linked directly to Greater Manchester Police to report incidents and help identify offenders.
And on Wednesday July 31 there’s a free, fun event outside the Helly Hansen Watersports Centre to help people learn how to stay safe around the waters of the Quays this summer.
Called Make a Safe Splash at Salford Quays, it runs from 1pm to 3pm and will include free safe swimming, watersports (charges apply), the climbing wall, fire engine and crew, police car and officers and information about more summer holiday activities. It is being run by Salford City Council, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue, Greater Manchester Police and the Helly Hansen Watersports Centre.
Photo: Similar equipment already in use at Hollingworth Lake, Rochdale